• Eid Al Adha

     
    One can expect that a fair number of Muslim students and staff may be absent from school on Eid so that they can attend the prayer and celebrate with their families.
     
    Eid day in Portland usually looks like this:
    • Families wake up early, shower, and get dressed in their newest, nicest clothing.

    • We go to the Eid Prayer in the morning, around 9 am. About 5000 people show up to the prayer, so we usually rent out space in the Convention Center or Expo Center. However, because of moon sighting, we end up having to rent it for two days each Eid because the holiday can fall on one day or the next, depending on whether the lunar month is 29 or 30 days that month. 

    • After that, families can visit their local Mosque/Masjid for socialization, food, and overall celebration.

    • Most families spend the first day visiting their friends and family, and taking their kids to fun places like Oaks Park, Chuck-E-Cheese's, or Safari Sam's, for example.

    • For those families that are going to go out and sacrifice an animal, they usually have to drive out to a farm where they've made arrangements to buy and butcher and animal from a farmer. Then part of the meat goes to charity, for needy families, and some is taken home. 
    Here's a cool link with some info and printables for kids: http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/eid

    The lunar calendar that Muslims follow isn't as predictable as the Gregorian calendar. In fact, the Islamic lunar calendar is about 11 days shorter, so holidays and special dates seem to become 11 days earlier every Gregorian year.

    We know that each lunar month will be either 29 or 30 days long, and that Eid Al Adha is always on the 10th day of the 12th lunar month- which is why we find out when Eid is precisely 10 days ahead of time.

    This month is called Thul Hijjah because it is also the month in which pilgrims travel to Mecca, Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj. Muslims who are financially, physically, and mentally able must perform Hajj once in our lives. 

    For more information about Eid Al Adha, try these websites:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eid_al-Adha

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/religion/islam/eid_haj.shtml

    http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/eid

     
    This holiday is one of only two major Islamic holidays: 
     
    Eid Al-Fitr is after the Islamic (lunar) month Ramadan, in which Muslims fast for 30 days from sunrise to sunset. Eid Al Fitr is literally: "Holiday of feasting." This year, Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr fell during the summer, which was easier for celebrating, but meant longer days of fasting than when it falls in the winter.
     
    Eid Al-Adha takes place about two months later, in the Islamic month called "Thul Hijjah" which is the month in which Muslims can perform the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, and every Muslim has to try to do it once in their lifetime. After the first 10 days of Thul Hijjah, the Hajj period is over and we celebrate with Eid Al-Adha, the "Holiday of sacrificing." It commemorates Prophet Abraham's willingness to obey God by sacrificing his son Ishmael. Just before Abraham sacrificed his son, God replaced Ishmael with a ram, thus sparing his life. Nowadays, Muslims who can afford to buy a sheep or goat can either pay for someone else to sacrifice in their name- and distribute the meat to the poor- or go out and do it in person. It is not required of those who are poor or unable for any other reason, but it is a tradition that is strongly encouraged.

     

    Thank you, and Eid Mubarak! (Happy Eid!)